In today’s Daily Telegraph column, Malcolm Pein looks back on the struggle to qualify for the semi-finals of this year’s Four Nations Chess League.
He also shows a quick defeat for the King’s Indian Defense and presents a puzzle on which to test you strength.
Malcolm Pein on…Guildford’s Young Guns
Guildford Young Guns demolished Wood Green Monarchs 4-0 to book their semifinal spot in Division One of the 4NCL Online League.
Romain Edouard outplayed Ravi Haria on top board. Edouard’s fellow 2600+ French GM Maxime Lagarde also won, as did IMs Brandon Clarke and Alberto Suarez Real.
Defending champions Chessable White Rose were held to a draw by Celtic Tigers & Sharks, but still qualified for the semifinals. So did Wood Green, who overcame Watford 3-1, and the lesser-fancied ChessPlus Kingston, who did very well to finish ahead of Barbican and Gonzaga.
Bayoneting the King’s Indian Defense
The Bayonet Attack against the King’s Indian, 9.b4, has been used with some success by Anish Giri of late. After 9…Nh5, the modern move is 10.Re1, but the older 10.g3!? also isn’t so easy for Black to handle as he can easily suffer a disaster on the light squares
L. Webb – N. Nataraj
Blackthorne Russia vs Oxford
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.g3!? f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.Bf3 f4? (It’s been known for a while that 12…c6! is essential to give Black some counterplay) 13.c5 h6 14.Ne6! Bxe6 15.dxe6 d5? (Critical, but flawed and it’s by no means easy for Black to round up the pawn on e6, as we can see from 15…Nc6 16.Nd5) 16.exd5! (Fearless play from Webb) 16…e4 17.Nxe4! Nxe4 18.Bxe4
(White offers a whole rook, but after 18…Bxa1 19.Bxf4 his massive centre is the predominant feature of the position: If 19…Bg7 20.d6 cxd6 21. cxd6 when the threat is dxe7 and the knight will be exchanged wherever it goes, e.g. 21…Nc8 22.Bxb7 Rb8 23.Bxc8 Qxc8 24.d7 Qd8 25.Bxb8 Qxb8 26.e7 and wins and after 19…Rxf4 20.gxf4 Bf6 21.d6 cxd6 22.cxd6 Nc6 when 23.Bxg6 pockets a fourth pawn and an overwhelming position for the piece) 18…fxg3 19.Rb1 gxh2+ 20.Kh1 Qc8 21.Qg4 (Black’s kingside must collapse) 21…h5 22.Qg2 a5 23.d6 1-0 Once again the connected passed pawns are far too strong.
Test Your Strength
G. Jones – R. Reimani
White to play and win
Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.
31.Rf7+! Kg8 32.Rb7 1-0